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story.lead_photo.caption Atiyyah Ellison interacts with Battle players prior to a 2019 game against Jefferson City at Adkins Stadium. Ellison, the head coach at Battle the past two seasons, has been hired as director of player development for the Missouri Tigers Photo by Jason Strickland / News Tribune.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri football program has added former defensive line standout Atiyyah Ellison to lead its player development efforts, the athletic department announced Friday.

Ellison, who lettered for the Tigers from 2002-04 and played for six years in the NFL, stepped down as head coach of Battle High School on Thursday. He was a two-time All-Big 12 selection, earning third-team honors in 2003 and first-team honors in '04.

Ellison joins Eli Drinkwitz's program to fill the role previously held by L'Damian Washington. Washington came on as the director of player development in November of last year, and left to take an on-the-field coaching job at Southern University earlier this year.

"I'm blessed to be part of this program again," Ellison said in a press release. "I'm grateful to coach Drinkwitz for the opportunity to be part of the next chapter of Mizzou football, and to add to my professional experiences. I can't wait to see our student-athletes continue to grow, on and off the field."

At Battle, Ellison went 15-6, including 8-2 last season, a Class 5 District 4 championship and a third-place finish in the Central Missouri Activities Conference's inaugural season. Ellison was an assistant with the Spartans from 2013-19 before taking the head job.

A St. Louis native, Ellison was a multisport standout at Parkway South High School, playing football, basketball and track and field.

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